Donnie Wahlberg leaves $2,020 tip at St. Charles IHOP

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Friday, January 3, 2020
Donnie Wahlberg leaves $2,020 tip at St. Charles IHOP
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A restaurant server in the western suburbs hit the jackpot when Donnie Wahlberg dined at the IHOP in St. Charles.

ST. CHARLES, Ill. (WLS) -- Working New Year's Day turned out to be a very profitable decision for a suburban waitress surprised by a celebrity's generosity.

When Bethany Provencher walked up to table 19 at the St Charles IHOP to take their order on New Year's Day, she was star struck.

"I freaked out and called my mother in the bathroom. 'Ma, Donnie Wahlberg is at my table.' My mother sat in line for three to four hours for tickets for me when I was a kid," Provencher said.

Donnie Wahlberg was at the local IHOP with his wife Jenny McCarthy and four kids.

Despite the excitement, Provencher's general manager, Gabriela Rivera, told her to play it cool around the 'New Kids On The Block' singer.

"She is actually the one who brought it up to my attention that it was Donnie Wahlberg," Rivera said. "I was like, 'OK that's awesome, let's take a breath, take it easy and treat him like everybody else.'"

Not only did Provencher get to come face-to-face with Wahlberg, but he left behind a gracious tip as well.

Jenny McCarthy tweeting the receipt, showing a $2,020 tip for their $78 meal.

"He gave me the receipt and he folded it up and told me to put it in my pocket and wait until he left to open it. When I opened it I freaked out," Provencher said.

Provencher and her 11-year-old son just relocated to the Chicago suburbs from Florida this past summer and have been living with family in the area. The timing of Wahlberg's generosity couldn't be better since Provencher said she just signed a lease for a new apartment on Monday, and had no idea how she was going to afford furniture.

"I got my key on Monday and I have absolutely nothing to move in with. I have not a dish, but now I can have a fully furnished place," she said. "My son can get whatever he wants."

This isn't the first time Wahlberg has left a big tip for his severs, he's been known to do it at other restaurants in the past.

However, this single mother said she's been through a lot of tough times in life and Wahlberg's act of kindness is worth so much more than the tip amount.

"Good things can only come. Blessings all around. I pray every day. So we are going to be OK," Provencher said.

McCarthy is a native of the Chicago area and the couple lives in St. Charles.